CRHC Ladies 2s played an evenly contested derby against local side Bristol Firebrands 1s on Saturday 23rd October. With Firebrands presently sitting top of the Conference West league table, CRHC L2s knew they would have their work cut out.
Both teams were persistent in attack and defence in a fast-paced first quarter of end-to-end hockey. After the short break, Clifton came out fighting hard, maintaining great pressure throughout the remainder of the first half, moving the ball skilfully throughout the pitch, keeping Firebrands at bay and just never quite finding the back of the net.
A chip over the Firebrands goal keeper from Martha Barratt about 10 minutes into the third quarter just skimmed wide of the top left corner of the goal, and it seemed Clifton had fire in their bellies and a shift in scoreline was surely only moments away. At about 12 minutes in, Firebrands picked up a loose ball and took it into the D, but the shot was superbly saved by Sophie Trigg to keep everything level at 0–0 all the way into the final quarter of the match.
Cheers went up from the Clifton fans as 2 minutes into the final leg, the ladies won a penalty corner – but no goal this time. In what was characteristic of a see-saw match, a return penalty corner for Firebrands 6 minutes later still produced no change in the scoreline. As the minutes drew to a close, Firebrands were awarded three penalty corners back to back – each brilliantly and fiercely defended – the last as the final whistle blew. A no-score draw sees the CRHC L2s move up one position in the Conference West league table with corresponding upward motion in belief and spirit following this more-than satisfying draw against the league leaders.